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Results 21 to 30 of 32
  1. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Ahh, it's fun going back and reading these posts. All of your suggestions were spot on and very helpful. I've since tested with 0 ammonia, and nitrites. There is a large bioload so nitrates are a tad high, which may explain a drop in my pH? More frequent water changes should help battle that. Prime is freaking awesome conditioner. I can't believe I was adding chlorinated water to make tank before. The things we do! I still add the water directly to my tank after adding Prime. I do shut off the filters to protect the bacteria while the prime does it's job. I'm going to be using a large rubber trash can to mix my water from now on.

    Does anyone stick plants in their filters to help with nitrate? It seems like it wouldn't be as beneficial as a consistent water change.

    I just added 500g of fluval bio media to my canister filter. That stuff seems to work great. My only problem to tackle now is the higher nitrate levels and keeping those to a minimum. I've been so bad about water changes in the past, it's a miracle my cichlids are still alive. They are some tough fish.
    110 Gallon New World Cichlid Tank
    Tiger Oscar, Large Common Pleco, Blood Red Parrot, A lot of Black Convicts.

  2. Default


    1 Not allowed!
    You can add plants directly to your display, and they should help with nitrate levels. Though of course changing that water is going to remain crucial. They can go in the filter if they have access to light, but I don't think it would work with a canister. The easiest way is to probably get a HOB canister and put floating plants in. Fix some sort of screen to keep them from falling into the display, and apply some sort of full spectrum "plant" light. Of course you would have to forego the lid. One could also craft some sort of sump/refuge or spillover refuge out of a small aquarium if you were ambitious.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zerileous View Post
    You can add plants directly to your display, and they should help with nitrate levels. Though of course changing that water is going to remain crucial. They can go in the filter if they have access to light, but I don't think it would work with a canister. The easiest way is to probably get a HOB canister and put floating plants in. Fix some sort of screen to keep them from falling into the display, and apply some sort of full spectrum "plant" light. Of course you would have to forego the lid. One could also craft some sort of sump/refuge or spillover refuge out of a small aquarium if you were ambitious.
    Yea I have a canister and HOB filter at the moment, but it seems like a lot of investment just to avoid changing the water as often. The investment part being providing enough light for the plant to flourish.
    110 Gallon New World Cichlid Tank
    Tiger Oscar, Large Common Pleco, Blood Red Parrot, A lot of Black Convicts.

  4. #24

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    On the nitrates, no number is given, you just say they are "high." Nitrates are far more serious for fish than some aquarists think. In your situation, with the fish listed, water changes of no less than half the tank every week will help. Floating plants might be suitable too, they grow fast and even if the cichlids do nibble on them they will still benefit.

    Nitrates should never be over 20 ppm, and preferably no higher than 10 ppm. Dr. Neale Monks has written several times now that all cichlids appear to have issues with nitrates above 20 ppm, and on the cichlid site Marc Ellison agrees, and says high nitrates are usually the true cause of Malawi bloat, not food.

    As for your water conditioner, one that does what you need is sufficient. You should test your tap water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Chlorine was mentioned as being added, but find out if chloramine is added or not. If all you have is chlorine in the tap water, there are several suitable conditioners. Don't overuse them. Adding sufficient for the volume of new water is all that is needed. There is no point in dumping chemicals in the tank if it is not necessary to deal with a specific issue. There is another recent thread on water conditioners that has a lot of useful information, check that out for more backgrolund.

    Byron.
    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Sorry, definitely over 20 PPM. The substrate is thick and needed a cleaning. I did that last night as well as a 30% water change. The filters were rinsed and cleaned out over the weekend. I will test the nitrates later today to see if a difference was made. Interesting topic though about cichlids and nitrates, was there any mention of what type of issues they had with high nitrate readings? I want to change the substrate to PFS in the next week or so as the gravel I have is horrendous looking. It's been a while since I tested my tap water, but thats the next big thing I'll be doing. I want to ensure I am conditioning the water correctly PRIOR to putting it in my tank.

    On a side note I pulled out my huge rocks and drift wood to do a thorough gravel vac. Upon grabbing the rocks off of the towel to put them back in the tank I saw a female convict just sitting there on the towel. I instantly felt bad and reached to grab it. It was moving still so I placed it in the tank and she swam away. She must have been out of the tank for about 20-30 minutes. Happy ending!
    Last edited by AzCichlids; 09-12-2013 at 08:11 PM.
    110 Gallon New World Cichlid Tank
    Tiger Oscar, Large Common Pleco, Blood Red Parrot, A lot of Black Convicts.

  6. #26

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Sorry, definitely over 20 PPM. The substrate is thick and needed a cleaning. I did that last night as well as a 30% water change. The filters were rinsed and cleaned out over the weekend. I will test the nitrates later today to see if a difference was made.
    Yes, with the weekly water change, comes a vacuum of the substrate at least in the open areas. And keeping the filters clean (rinse as often as necessary) also helps. All this organic matter means nitrates.

    Interesting topic though about cichlids and nitrates, was there any mention of what type of issues they had with high nitrate readings?
    I mentioned the Malawi Bloat condition that is now known to be associated with nitrates. But on a more general level, this is a difficult question to answer, or perhaps more correctly, the answer is convoluted.

    Nitrate is, like ammonia andnitrite, a form of nitrogen. While all life needs nitrogen, nitrogen is also deadly toxic to all life. Most aquarists understand the poisoning of fish by ammonia and nitrite, but nitrate is often assumed to be the "safe" end of the story. Not true. Nitrate is simply a less quick acting poison.

    No fish we keep in our aquaria are designed to live in water containing ammonia, nitrite or nitrate, at least at any appreciable level. Nitrate tests of tropical waters always show near-zero if not zero levels of nitrate. As nitrates increase, fish are affected. The tolerance seems to vary a bit from species to species. And the effect to us can sometimes take a long period, up to the point that we might not even associate nitrate with the fish's death. But nitrate weakens the fish physiologically over time. Scientific studies are few, but the few that I have found do bear out a long-term cumulative effect of nitrate. Which is why Dr. Monks and others recommend nitrates be kept below 20 ppm, and below 10 ppm is better.

    I want to change the substrate to PFS in the next week or so as the gravel I have is horrendous looking. It's been a while since I tested my tap water, but thats the next big thing I'll be doing. I want to ensure I am conditioning the water correctly PRIOR to putting it in my tank.
    Unless you have issues with vastly differing parameters, there is no need to condition water prior to adding it. Just squirt in the conditioner as you begin to fill if using a "Python" hose from the tap (as I do). On the sand, make sure it is not white. I happen to like playsand.

    Byron.
    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    So as far as nitrates, the fish would most likely be effected over time and probably shorten their life span I would assume.

    So I wanted to do it prior as I wasn't sure how quickly the water conditioner would work against tap water entering the tank. I've heard it's instant, but not sure how true that is. I guess my thought was to ensure the temperature was close to that of the tank water and it was thoroughly mixed with the conditioner.
    110 Gallon New World Cichlid Tank
    Tiger Oscar, Large Common Pleco, Blood Red Parrot, A lot of Black Convicts.

  8. #28

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by AzCichlids View Post
    So as far as nitrates, the fish would most likely be effected over time and probably shorten their life span I would assume.

    So I wanted to do it prior as I wasn't sure how quickly the water conditioner would work against tap water entering the tank. I've heard it's instant, but not sure how true that is. I guess my thought was to ensure the temperature was close to that of the tank water and it was thoroughly mixed with the conditioner.
    Yes, any reliable conditioner will work instantly. For over 15 years I have used a Python to fill my tanks. I get the temperature set at the faucet while the tank is still draining, then I turn the valve to fill the tank. I walk back to the fish room and squirt in the amount of conditioner for the water being replaced. Sometimes it is up to a minute or two minutes before I do this. I have tanks ranging from 115g down to 20g.

    On the nitrates. Poisoning by ammonia, nitrite or nitrate kills the fish, as it will kill plants and bacteria too. What it does internally to achieve this I don't really care. I just want to prevent it from harming my fish. Here is a well researched article (not by me this time) that may provide more information:
    http://www.oscarfish.com/article-hom...-toxicity.html

    I previously mentioned nitrates being near zero in tropical rivers; near the end of this article it cites the highest recorded nitrate level for the Amazon River as 1.24 ppm. A far cry from those who say 20.0 ppm is "OK."

    Byron.
    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

  9. Default


    2 Not allowed!
    In terms of providing light for simple floating plants or a plant refuge (stuff like frogbit, java moss etc) it can be as simple as placing a bulb like this http://www.elightbulbs.com/Lights-of...FY3m7AodkAYAVg (never used this seller, just googled the brand of a light I've had success with) or http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...70&pcatid=9870 (this is a great seller, but the light is pink tinged, so some people don't like it for displays), to an old desk lamp that can be picked up at a second hand store or found around the house.

    I don't think it ever hurts to have plants :), plus it is always nice to have a little buffer against the occasional missed water change. IMHO you should try to do daily 50% water changes until you can get your nitrates down to below 10ppm (or whatever your target is) *before* you change the water (before you do this test to make sure tap pH is similar to your aquarium pH and there is no ammonia or nitrate in your tapwater itself - or you could really shock the fish). Once you've removed the excess that may have taken some time to develop continue testing daily and see what it takes to stay on top of the nitrate. I would still try using some aquarium safe silicon to glue some plastic mesh to the HOB and throw some java moss and stuff back there. Even without a light fixture that stuff will grow as long as it has some light from the hood or ambient room. I've even seen people grow spider plants out of their HOB filters, bamboo would also probably work. This will decrease the flow to your filter and increase evaporation, so those are some things to watch. Also just throwing something that floats on top would be great.

    There's no great need to upgrade the lighting with these plants. But keep in mind, using them as a sort of nitrate sponge is just going to give you a little extra latitude at best.

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I think I'll test my nitrate levels right now. Thanks for the feedback. Does anyone second the opinion of 50% water changes until the nitrate levels have dropped? Its difficult to do as I have a new born and two other kids. I saw a few people growing bamboo out of fry baskets. Seemed like a neat idea.
    110 Gallon New World Cichlid Tank
    Tiger Oscar, Large Common Pleco, Blood Red Parrot, A lot of Black Convicts.

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